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How do you prevent preeclampsia?

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Quick Answer

There are no known preventative measures for preeclampsia. One study suggested eating food bars containing the amino acid L-arginine along with antioxidant vitamins decreased the risk of preeclampsia in high-risk women, asserts WebMD. Another study indicated that overweight women who gained less than 15 pounds during their pregnancies had a reduced chance of developing preeclampsia.

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Calcium supplements may also lower the risk of preeclampsia but only in women with pre-existing calcium deficiencies, explains Mayo Clinic. Low-dose aspirin, given daily in amounts ranging from 60 to 81 milligrams and beginning late in the first trimester, is often recommended by doctors for women who have previously had preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia, sometimes referred to as toxemia, is elevated blood pressure that occurs usually after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to Mayo Clinic, and is commonly accompanied by signs of additional organ system damage, often to the kidneys. Once preeclampsia has been detected, delivery is the only cure.

Several factors increase the risk of developing preeclampsia, including carrying more than one baby; existence of high blood pressure before the pregnancy; autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis; diabetes; and kidney disease, as outlined by WedMD. In addition, up to 8 percent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia, and women who are teenagers or over the age of 40 are at greater risk.

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